WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Season 1, Episode 8 of Dr. Stone, "Stone Road."
Senku couldn't believe his good fortune in the last episode of Dr. Stone when his newest discovery in the Stone World, a girl named Kohaku, led him to an entire village of possible converts to his Kingdom of Science. However, just as soon as he made this discovery he also hit a major roadblock: Ishigami village has a strict policy against letting outsiders enter.
Instead, he has to make do with Kohaku, who he won over by rescuing from a certain and slow death trapped under a tree, and Chrome, a fellow science enthusiast who lives in a treehouse laboratory on the outskirts of the Ishigami. Senku also learned that Kohaku's older sister, Ruri, is suffering from an unspecified, long term illness. If he's able to use his modern-day medicinal knowledge to create a cure, he might just earn himself a ticket into the gated community.
Something as ubiquitous as antibiotics in our world seems like an impossible feat to replicate in such a primitive environment but Senku remains confident in his resourcefulness. Chrome also proves his worth yet again by showing Senku a chunk of magnetic material he found, meaning that they can start the first step of the process in earnest: collecting iron filings from a riverbed.
They're aided by a quirky new character called Suika. Suika is a 9-year-old girl who wears a hollowed-out watermelon on her head. The accessory has left her feeling alienated in the village but Senku welcomes her presence without even asking about her odd choice of headgear. His fledging Kingdom needs all the help it can get, after all. Delighted, Suika pledges her support, not only collecting plenty of iron filings, but also pointing out that her watermelon helmet works well as a hiding place, meaning she can sneak back into the village and do some reconnaissance on Senku's behalf.
Senku instructs her to listen out for what Ishigami's residents' desires are, hoping that he can use science to make their wishes come true and attract more people to his cause. Suika does just that and, even though different people have different wants and needs, a pattern emerges between them: people of the new Stone Age desperately want better tasting food.
Cooking is a science, so Senku remodels himself as a gourmet chef, making do with whatever ingredients he can find to throw together a "miracle" dish: ramen. The result goes over far better with Chrome and Kohaku's underdeveloped palettes than Senku's modern one, enough so that he deems the ploy worth trying on his target audience. Hopefully, by satisfying people's stomachs, he can win over hearts and minds, too.
New episode of Dr. Stone air every Saturday night as part of Adult Swim's Toonami block, and on Crunchyroll.